A chapter has closed, a page has turned. I knew eventually that we would have to say goodbye to that simple European lifestyle, but the time just passed too fast.
Waking up in Germany for those many months taught me an incredible amount about myself. I can now rise each morning, with my heart bursting at the seams with utter elation and gratification because I pursued my dream to travel with my best friend. I have a new appreciation and empathy of the world and the people in it. Travelling does that to you–humbling like no other. I can say that I did this for me, and that feels good. No. GREAT.
But now it’s all just a memory.
The reason we went, and the only way any of this was possible for me was because of John of course. And wheelchair basketball. I can’t express enough to everyone we met at the Cologne 99ers and the Rhine River Rhinos how indebted we are. From the hearty laughs that turned into sobbing cries, the long road trips over the German countryside, the greasy post-game KFC meals and more–we love you. I even give love to the referees who made my blood pressure rise every weekend. Living in Cologne and Wiesbaden was an experience that I will always treasure. It’s crazy how a sport and a place can consume someone (especially when I don’t even play).
So enough of the sappiness who’s interested on how John finished the 2016-2017 season?! I sure am! Below are John’s personal player stats. For the full stats click here. Of the 12 games accounted for–
- 192 points scored, averaging 12 PPG (23rd)
- 51 rebounds (19th)
- 72 assists (2nd)
- 8 steals (16th)
- The Rhine River Rhinos, as a team, finished fourth in the league which is incredible because it was their first season in the first division.
- Post-season Challenge Cup
- Round One in Amsterdam, Holland – The team won 1st place, and John was on the All-Star 5.
- Round Two in Vigo, Spain – The team placed second, and John was on the All-Star 5.
For the record–John played way more than 12 games, but they only took stats for 12 regular season games so yeah…kind of disappointing, but oh well!
Wheelchair basketball, I must confess its been easy to love you. You accepted me with open arms. I became involved and included in something that’s bigger than me, and it truly gives me an ineffable feeling. I’ve found a great place and family. Thank you.
I put my life into John’s hands two years ago after we both graduated. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–I wouldn’t want to do this with anyone else. Even though we’re no longer going to be living in Europe living the baller life, I will always know and remember that we have a home there. We know that we can never really say goodbye. It’s always just going to be a “See you later” or should I say, “Auf wiedersehen.” 😉
Amazing photos by Steffi Wunderl Fotografie